Sons not interested in flat: Mother

A 91-YEAR-OLD woman suing her two daughters over her five-room HDB flat claimed yesterday that her sons did not care who owned the property. Madam Eileen Chia Yoke Mui took the stand in a wheelchair for the third time in a trial that began last Friday.

For two hours yesterday, she was grilled by defence lawyer Alfred Dodwell as he tried to show that brothers Eric Goh Wai Mun, 69, and Evan Goh Wyming, 64, had played a part in persuading her and her late husband to take their sisters to court.

Her late husband, Mr Dennis Goh Chin Chye, was a pioneer of the scouts movement and a well-respected former Anglo-Chinese school physical education teacher.

Madam Chia insisted that she had no favourites among her children.

"They are all the same and I treat them equally."

This is one reason the widow wants the court to declare invalid the couple's move in 2009 to share their flat in a joint tenancy with sisters Yvonne Goh Mei Ling, 62 and Yvette Goh Meich'ang, 52.

When a co-owner dies in a joint tenancy, her share goes to the other owners. But if the sisters' names are removed, all four siblings will get an equal share when their mother dies.

Madam Chia told the court last Friday that she and her husband, who died on March 5 at age 94, had always intended to leave the flat equally to all four children.

Earlier in the trial, she also claimed that her late husband was only "joking" when he suggested making his daughters joint owners.

The defence is arguing that the couple's sons had persuaded them to sue their sisters. Mr Dodwell yesterday focused on the events that took place after the transfer was effected in April 2010.

At a family meeting in December 2011, for example, the brothers had angrily demanded the sisters' names be removed from the tenancy. Mr Eric Goh also called Madam Yvonne Goh a "cheat", "liar" and "thief".

Their mother admitted to the court that this had happened.

Mr Dodwell said this did not sound like someone not interested in the property. He added that the brothers have both received financial help from their parents.

"Your evidence has always been to protect your sons."

But Madam Chia disagreed. "They (had said) that what's mother's belongs to mother. Eric was agitated".

The trial continues today, with Madam Yvonne Goh expected to take the stand.

pohian@sph.com.sg


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

Become a fan on Facebook